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State Briefs

By The Associated Press • May 22, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Michigan House Republicans remove lawmaker from caucus

LANSING (AP) — Republicans in the Michigan House have removed a lawmaker from their caucus following his indictment on charges of seeking a bribe from a union.

State Rep. Larry Inman was kicked out Tuesday. It means the Traverse City-area Republican will be unable to attend private meetings during which majority Republicans discuss legislation before voting publicly.

Inman has refused to resign from office, despite legislators' growing calls that he leave. He was absent from Tuesday's House session.

Inman was charged last week with attempted extortion, soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI. Prosecutors say messages show him urging a union to round up campaign contributions from other labor groups last summer to ensure that lawmakers would buck Republican leaders and block the repeal of a wage law covering public construction projects.

Group backs initiative for abortion ban after 1st heartbeat

LANSING (AP) — A Michigan group is launching a ballot drive to ban abortions after a fetus' heartbeat is detected, with exceptions to protect a pregnant woman's life or health.

The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed its initiative wording Tuesday. It's the second ballot committee to push an anti-abortion measure, following a Right to Life-backed group that's seeking to prohibit a second-trimester abortion procedure.

A fetal heartbeat can be detected at six weeks.

If roughly 340,000 valid signatures are gathered, the heartbeat initiative will go to the Republican-led Legislature. It could enact it or allow a statewide vote.

Anti-abortion activists disagree over the latest initiative. Proponents say it'd protect more lives, while Right to Life worries the measure could interfere with an abortion ban already on the books if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Man dies after tractor flips in West Michigan

BENONA TWP. (AP) — Police said a 64-year-old man has died after the tractor he was using flipped at a farm in Oceana County.

The Oceana County Sheriff's Office said Gary Mills of Grand Rapids died Monday evening at the farm in Benona Township.

The man was reportedly trying to use the tractor to pull open a piece of farm equipment when it flipped.

The Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police, the Shelby-Benona Fire Department and others were involved in the emergency response at the farm.

Authorities remove 178 cats from suburban Detroit home

WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP. (AP) — Authorities said animal control officers have removed 178 cats from a suburban Detroit home where the animals were found living in what was described as deplorable conditions.

The Oakland County Animal Shelter & Pet Adoption Center said the animals were found after a county animal control officer went to the home in West Bloomfield Township last month to perform a welfare check on cats at the home. The agency said 60 of the cats have been euthanized because of severe illness or aggression.

The home was reportedly owned by two people who lived elsewhere. Prosecutors are expected to review the case for possible charges.

Many of the cats that were removed from the house had health issues including upper respiratory infections, fleas, skin infections, ear mites and malnutrition.

State settles lawsuit over inmate's death for $860,000

PITTSFIELD TWP. (AP) — The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $860,000 to settle a lawsuit over the death of a prisoner who killed herself.

Federal Judge Robert Cleland signed off on the deal earlier this month between the state corrections department and Janika Edmond's family, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Edmond killed herself at the prison for women, near Ann Arbor, in 2015. Prison staff members were accused of failing to properly respond to a threat of suicide. Edmond yelled for a suicide-prevention vest but didn't get one.

Dianna Callahan of Flint pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to six months in jail. She was accused of saying, "Somebody owes me lunch," after Edmond asked for the vest.

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